updated 12:40 pm EST, Mon January 19, 2009
MS SkyBox Next Month
Microsoft is poised to use February's Mobile World Congress to unveil a set of online mobile services that would be its own equivalents to Apple's Internet components for the iPhone. In addition to confirming the existence of SkyMarket, a dedicated app store for Windows Mobile devices, alleged sources for Neowin claim Microsoft will use the phone show to introduce SkyBox, a mobile sync service to backup and share calendars, contacts, e-mail and photos between devices not unlike Apple's MobileMe.
The specific workings of the service aren't known, though SkyBox will purportedly be device-independent and so won't require Windows Mobile to access on the road. A business edition nicknamed SkyLine will let companies use their own domain names through a centrally shared Exchange service.
Microsoft is also reportedly set to introduce Windows Mobile 6.5 at the expo and is believed to be giving the platform a reworked home screen with a hexagonal interface to more easily navigate top-level features such as music. Little else is known besides its inclusion of the more advanced Internet Explorer 6 Mobile that is so far only optional, but phones carrying new Windows Mobile versions often ship several months after Microsoft's first public showing.
The news potentially rules out any plans for Windows Mobile 7 to appear in 2009; the next-generation OS is believe Microsoft's first to be built from scratch for non-stylus touch.